Craig has plentiful pumpkins during Saturday events
Orange, white, pink or any other part of the rainbow, pumpkins are the hot item of the season, and Craig got its fill this weekend.
Northwest Colorado had two separate pumpkin patches Saturday as Homemaker FurnishingsHomemaker Furnishings and and Wyman Living History MuseumWyman Living History Museum gave the area all they could handle. gave the area all they could handle.
With more than 1,000 of the autumn vegetable in stock in the store parking lot for early risers, Homemaker’s annual bounty was a changing of the guard as new owner Anthony Shepherd takes over from predecessor Marvin “Red” Cortner.
“I enjoy it, it’s good for the kids, and that’s what it’s about,” Shepherd said. “It’s a good feeling to give back.”
A surprise guest was in store as Mayor Ray Beck dropped by to lend a hand in the dispensing of the jack-o’-lanterns-to-be.
“This is a great service for the community,” he told organizers.
On the outskirts of town, people were appreciating a clear day at the Wyman Pumpkin Patch, in which the title objects had to share some of the glory as the main attraction for the crowd, which included many only knee-high.
“I love seeing all of the kids,” said Lou Wyman, museum founder. “It means a lot to me to see this many people come out and participate.”
A full celebration of fall took place as children and their parents stuffed scarecrows, rode a horse wagon and train and roamed around a hay maze looking for the proverbial needle among the bales only to learn the barely discernable item they were expecting was nearly the size of a crowbar, specially made by the Wyman blacksmith.
And yes, families picked out their Halloween pumpkins.
“It’s a real frenzy, but everybody just loves to get out and socialize,” Wyman staff member Annie Nelson said of the initial pumpkin rush, noting that the event saw about 700 people within the first two hours, many more coming in throughout the day.
Moffat County Cancer Society had specially shaded pink pumpkins to benefit their cause, while buyers also had the option of turning their new purchase any color they wanted with the museum’s painting station.
Sisters Alexi and Makayla Goodnow were among those selling inventory on behalf of Hamilton’s Busy Beavers 4-H Club.
“The kids love those little ones,” Makayla said, motioning to a pile of pumpkins each no bigger than an adult’s fist.
The teeny selections known as “wee bees” were big sellers, especially for toddlers who wanted something to their scale, but others only wanted the giants, and if they couldn’t pick it up, they put forth a lot of effort trying.
“The littlest kid goes for the biggest pumpkin, one little kid couldn’t even roll it so I had to help him,” volunteer Bill Yoast chuckled.
Yoast provided agricultural demonstrations throughout the day with an antique hay press that fascinated many of the younger set who insisted on joining the chore.
“Those kids were having a ball, but if you told them to go out and do it at home, ain’t no way in the world they’d do it,” he laughed.
The pumpkin patch and the museum itself are a great example of the region’s farming heritage, Yoast said.
“This is where we come from, that’s what got it started, it’s what it’s all about,” he said.
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The Lower and Central Yampa River Basin, which include Craig, Hayde, Rangely, Dinosaur and Meeker, will be under a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service starting at 6 a.m. Thursday.